Monthly Wrap Up: June 2015

If you’ve read my last few wrap-up posts, you may know life’s been a little hectic the last few months. If I’m honest, they’ve been pretty tough, I haven’t been in the happiest of places, and that all culminated in June.

All the Single Ladies

I pondered whether or not to include this in here, but it’s obviously a large part of what happened to me last month. After 2 wonderful years together, my partner and I have separated. It was a heart-breaking decision, and not for lack of love for each other, but because we simply didn’t seem to be on the same path for the future.

And so, I find myself single once more, and living alone, when I had quite smugly thought that I’d had my whole life mapped out for me. There have been ups and downs, good days and bad days, I have been sad, angry, miserable, okay, indifferent, guilty, happy, raging, tired and everything in between, but luckily I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by an incredibly loving and supportive family, and have some amazing friends who are always there for me. I have spent most of the last couple of weeks staying with my Dad and Stepmum, who have been incredible, and I’ve had copious amounts of cuddles with my little brother, and much love (and licks) from our very over-enthusiastic and affectionate chocolate lab; after all, I think there are few pains which cannot be eased by dogs and babies.

And do you know what? For the first time in my life, when everything seems to be falling apart around me, I am actually feeling pretty damn strong. I have had a fairly dark past at times, where something like this may have destroyed me, but while my heart has been broken, I have somehow broken new ground for me. For a start, it’s the first time I have had the strength to admit that, actually, I’m not doing so great, and I need a little help, rather than pretending I’m fine. And I now know that that is totally okay. So I went and stayed with my Dad for a bit. Did it make me feel me feel helpless or weak? Actually, it reminded me of how lucky and loved I am, and allowed me to heal and find strength in a safe environment.

I think I’ve just reached a giant point of FUCK IT. I actually feel more empowered than ever to go after the things I want in life and make them happen. I’m finally working on my book again, after having neglected it for several months. I’m meeting the friends I’ve been saying I must catch up with for months, but have never got round to. Yes, this last week I have had too much wine and not enough food, but mainly because I’ve been out with people who make me feel good and I’ve had fun, rather than isolating myself alone at home and doing this, as I may have done in the past.

So here’s to new beginnings, and to making your own dreams come true!

Here’s a few quotes that have helped me feeling motivated (there has been a LOT of “inspirational quotes” searching on Pinterest when I’ve needed a pick-me-up! By all means, if you are also inclined in the way of super cheesy affirmations, do feel free to check out my Pinterest board).

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June in Books

Nursing a broken heart did mean that I decided to submerge myself in reading again, and managed to get through more than I had in the last few months. Overall, a damn good selection as well, Killing Monica didn’t really do it for me, but I loved everything else I read this month, so that’s great.

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Books Releases to Get Excited About in July

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The Quality of Silence – Jul 2nd

Some Kind of Wonderful – July 2nd

Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams – July 3rd

Fairytale Beginnings – July 10th

Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm – July 17th

The Little Flower Shop by the Sea – July 30th

Books I Plan to Read in July 

Given my shit-ness at getting through the reading goals I’ve set my self lately, I’m just going to put the 3 from above which I’ve not yet read, and I also want to enjoy some of the lovely paperbacks I’ve bought myself recently for #paperbacksummer. We shall see!



July marks one year since I first started blogging, which is super exciting, so I’ve got lots of amazing giveaways to celebrate with you all!

What are you looking forward to this month?

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Book Review: Return to Bluebell Hill, by Rebecca Pugh

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

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Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

An emotional tale of self-discovery, taking chances and romance! Rebecca’s unique British voice feels like coming home again and again.

Continue reading

Top 10 Books to Read in Summer 2015

As it is now the start of June, it is officially Summer as far as I’m concerned – even if it’s still raining half the time! And one of the best parts of that is all the gorgeous summer book releases! May kicked off to a great start of summer reads, and there’s so many more fab ones due over the next couple of months that they definitely deserve their own post. So, in no particular order, here’s my Top 10 choices to get excited about this summer.

CGKmpq1UIAA5he2Summer by the Sea, by Jenny Hale
Publication date: June 12th

Amazon UK
Amazon US
My Review

If you’re a follower of my blog you have probably heard me declare my undying love for Jenny Hale multiple times, and I assure you it’s with good reason! Jenny’s books are magical to me and Summer by the Sea is no exception.



Fairytale Beginnings, by Holly Martin
Publication date: July 10th

Amazon UK
Amazon US
My Review

I have absolutely loved Holly Martin’s previous books, and doesn’t this just look like the perfect dreamy and romantic summer read? I plan to take this one to the park with a picnic and a bottle of wine!



Game of Scones

Game of Scones, by Samantha Tonge
Publication date: April 20th

Amazon UK
Amazon US
My Review

Game of Scones is a perfect beach read for lazy summer days. However – make sure you’ve packed a delicious picnic too as this book will make your stomach rumble reading about all the yummy scones!



Summer at Shell Cottage, by Lucy Diamond
Publication date: June 4th

Amazon UK
Amazon US

To my shame I am still yet to read a Lucy Diamond book, even though I hear nothing but praise and I even have some on my shelves! This summer is the time to change that with the beautiful Summer at Shell Cottage.




The Sun in her Eyes, by Paige Toon
Publication date: May 20th

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Paige Toon is another author who I unbelievably haven’t read yet *hangs head in shame*. However, her gorgeous new book has made me put my foot down and decide to change this. It’s been ordered and is hopefully finding it’s way to me right now!



Truly, Madly Greekly CoverTruly Madly Greekly, by Mandy Baggot
Publication date: May 22nd

Amazon UK
Amazon US
My Review

A beautiful Greek island, a GORGEOUS exotic man and a heartfelt story make this the perfect read for sun, sand and sea (and cocktails!). Definitely make sure to take this one to the beach with you this summer.



Some Kind of Wonderful, by Sarah Morgan
Publication date: July 2nd

Amazon UK
Amazon US
My Review

Some Kind of Wonderful is Book #2 in Sarah’s Puffin Island Trilogy. Having read and LOVED book one, First Time in Forever, I can’t wait to read this sequel. And just look at that gorgeously bright and summery cover!



The Little Flower Shop by the Sea, by Ali McNamara
Publication date: July 2nd

Amazon UK
Amazon US

I simply adore everything about this. I’ve loved Ali’s past books, I love the title, I love the cover, I love the blurb. Just looking at it I feel summery. I really can’t wait to read this one.



return to bluebell hillReturn to Bluebell Hill, by Rebecca Pugh
Publication date: June 18th

Amazon UK
Amazon US
My Review

Beautiful fellow book blogger from Becca’s Books has her debut novel coming out very soon and I could not be more excited! I have no doubts this is going to be superb.



25646142-2Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams
Publication date: July 3rd

Amazon UK
Amazon US
My Review

What I love most about Sue Watson’s books is that they are guaranteed to be laugh-out-loud funny, and I don’t think this one will be any exception! From it’s popping cover with those gorgeous, girly brights and a seriously fun sounding bio, I am super excited about getting my claws on this one.


There really are a whole host more wonderful books out too – so much so that I’m already in panic-mode that I won’t be able to read them all. It was definitely tough picking just 10, but what a fab 10 they are, right?

Which book releases are you excited about this Summer? Any of these make the cut on your wishlist?

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Monthly Wrap Up: May 2015

Well, I thought April was pretty busy for me, but May seemed to be just one, big crazy whirlwind. Work is insanely busy, with barely a moment to catch my breath and I’ve found myself getting quite stressed and pent up over it. I love my job, but it can be demanding and I think I need to learn to not let it get to me so much. Then it starts the domino effect where by the time I’ve got home, I’m wound up, knackered, and wanting nothing more than to curl up in a ball under a blanket and sleep.

That said, I still had a lot of fun in May. While the weather was mainly unfortunate, we did have some sunny days, and few things make me happier than sunshine. I managed a few nice runs with the bestie, some reading in the park and a trip to the zoo, so that was all great, as well as a couple of great nights out.

I’ve also booked to go to the UK for the Bank Holiday weekend in August to catch up with my best friends from Devon, which I can’t wait for, and it will be good to have something to look forward to.

Race For Life

On Sunday 31st May, my beautiful friend Rosie and I bravely faced the freezing cold and pissing rain, to run the 10k Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

We really wanted to complete it in under an hour, and finished in 57 minutes, so we were really pleased with that. I also had set myself a target to raise £100, and raised over £150, so I’m really happy about that as well.

It was such a dire day to have to run on, but everyone did so well and didn’t let their spirits be dampened when their bodies were, so we were really pleased to be a part of it. 11328827_10152976861978831_1779400524_n11355403_10152976861998831_216457238_n

Girl’s Nights!

11272151_10152976861988831_1389109781_nMy handsome big bro is getting married this weekend! I still can’t quite believe it and I’m so excited to share his big day with him. We had the hen do a couple of weeks a go and we all had such a good laugh (and far too much wine!) and I had some very lovely11418630_10152976862058831_1119409342_n pink, fluffy deely boppers to sport all evening as a bridesmaid.

I also managed a much needed and long overdue girls night out with Rosie before she leaves me to go on her cookery course in the UK for six weeks. (During which we happened to be joined by my mother, crash my brother’s stag do and end up at an after-party at my Uncle’s until 5:30am…as you do!)

May in Books

Unfortunately, May found me with no where near enough spare time on my hands to get into my reading much at all, so I read the fewest books I’ve read in a long time. I can’t believe I only read 5! I did finish another on the morning of the 1st, so I guess that was mainly read in May, but I always go by dates finished, so it’ll have to pass over to June!

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Books Releases to Get Excited About in June

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Don’t Tell the Brides-To-Be – June 1st 2015

Too Many Cooks – June 4th 2015

Somewhere Only We Know – June 11th 2015

Summer by the Sea – June 12th 2015

Return to Bluebell Hill – June 18th 2015

Killing Monica – June 23rd 2015

Okay there is some SERIOUS cause for excitement about book releases this summer, and a whole lot more coming out in July, but here are my top picks for June.

Jenny Hale’s new book is out on the 12th – I’m reading it now and it is SENSATIONAL, not that I’d expect any thing less. Pre-order this immediately if you haven’t already!

Also, my girl Rebecca Pugh from Becca’s Books has her debut novel coming out and I could not be more proud of her or more excited! Pre-order this also, you simply must.

Books I Plan to Read in June 

I managed 3 of my planned books for May, and – being the bookaholic I am – probably bought about 20 new books. I treated myself to a lot of paperbacks this month, so hopefully I’ll get a couple of those read in June. Now we’re finally hitting summer, I’m fantasising about lazy days in the park with a book, but how much time I’ll actually find to be able to do this, we shall see! I don’t wanna over shoot my aims here given how little time I’ve had lately, so I’m only planning 3 I definitely want to read, but at the same time I am SO EXCITED about upcoming releases.

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What are you looking forward to this month?

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